As this was a short trip, we didn’t have the time to go to the more country areas for fruit picking.
So we found these farms in the Karuizawa area which are not too far from Toys’ Kingdom, one of our destinations.
We went to Karuizawa Gardenfarm for strawberry picking.
From the farm, you can actually get a good view of Mount Asama, the active volcano there.
This farm is different from others in that they use a modern greenhouse to grow their strawberries.
Water and fertilizer are automatically supplied when appropriate using their computer system.
Humidity and temperature are also controlled inside the greenhouse.
Honey bees are also present in the greenhouse and working hard at pollinating the flowers.
They have a sell-by-weight course where you pay for what you picked, as well as the with-souvenir course, which is what we took.
If you intend to buy back some souvenirs like strawberry syrup or jam, the with-souvenir course is recommended.Our harvest for the day was 2 packets, of which one was quickly devoured after the picking.
Condensed milk is provided if you are eating your harvest there.
Depending on the season and harvest, they may only accept pre-booked visitors, so reservation is highly recommended.
Next, we were off to Matsui No-en, or Matsui farm for apple picking. Depending on the season, blueberry picking is also available.
This farm is different from others as there are a number of activities you can do there, like fishing and barbeque.
For barbeque, everything include the food is prepared there so all you have to do is to barbeque and eat.
There is also a restaurant where you can have your lunch there if you are not doing the barbeque.
It is quite a large compound.
The entrance fee for apple picking is JPY800 for primary school children and above.
For 3 to 5 years old, the fee is JPY700 and free for less than 3 years old.
This includes all-you-can-eat at the farm where you can eat whatever you pick.
The apples are quite huge so frankly, we only managed to eat less than 2 apples per person.They use an apple peeler and slicer which allows the apples to be served within seconds, which is quite cool.
So guess what, we went to look for the same equipment in town after that.
However, upon reading reviews on the apple peeler, it seems it may not be able to peel properly for smaller apples, so unless you are always getting large apples, you may want to reconsider getting that.
The apple slicer works well though, and has become a useful tool at home as we eat apples quite often.
After eating the apples, you can also choose a bag to pick your apples to bring back.
The bag costs between JPY1,500 to JPY2,500, depending on how many apples you intend to bring back.
Reservations are not required for picking, just make sure you are going at the right season.
For barbeque, it is better to enquire and make reservations to ensure you have the food ready when you are there.